Customer Reviews: Official ANA Grading Standards for United States Coins (Official American Numismatic Association Grading Standards for United States Coins)
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VINE VOICEon August 4, 2013
ANA Grading Standards For U.S. Coins - Seventh Edition
This is a great reference book, but woefully incomplete. It appears that 13 years elapsed between the time it was written and the date it was published.
There are NO coins referenced that were minted in 2000 or later. No state quarters , no Sacagawea dollars, no presidential dollars, no silver eagles, no modern commemoratives at all. Will there be a volume two? Doubtful, but one can still hope.
For the present content, this is an essential guide book. It explains most of the available grades with photographs for circulation strikes. (Proof strikes are covered briefly, but no photographs or specific specimens are detailed.)
If you have loose, ungraded coins from the U.S. dated before the year 2000, this book can give you a good idea on how to grade each one. If you seriously want to try your hand at coin grading, pick up a grab bag of assorted coins from eBay or a local coin dealer, get a good magnifying glass,
(3x to 7x magnification) some good lighting, this book and have at it.
For the coins the book actually details, there are drawings and photographs pointing out essential "look for this" details. Also the are photographs of different grades for the same coin variety as a visual aid for grading your coins.
The book is actually spiral bound, with a hard cover attached. It will lay flat, when open; helpful when you are actually examining coins, to compare without needing to struggle to keep the book open to the correct page.
This guide needs to be updated to include the coins minted during the past 13 years to be useful for most collectors. If you want a reference that ends in 1999, this tome is nearly perfect.
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on October 20, 2015
This is a difficult book to review.

The fundamental positive is that this book just might save you several hundred dollars (or more!) by keeping you from falling into a phony, TPG overgrading trap. The ANA's standards clearly are stated, and anyone determined to enter the rare-coin market absolutely needs to learn them.

The bad news is that there is a lot of rote in this book -- what is said about Liberty quarter eagles is pretty much what is said about Buffalo nickels, &c. Photos of the different coins, their grades, and where one should look for wear do help; but, dozens of pages telling me that MS70 is a perfect coin with no wear or marks, and that MS69 is slightly impaired and MS67 slightly more so really does not explain critical nuances of grading.

I would have preferred to see more information re what to expect in the real world of real coins -- what exactly IS the difference between a Philadelphia half eagle that is worn to VF and a Dahlonega half eagle that looks about the same but properly grades AU. Perhaps this is asking too much from a general book; however, this would have been more helpful than endless repetition of the ANA standards mindlessly applied to each type of U.S. mint issue.

The Commemorative section also is wanting -- principal commemoratives are listed with a description of where wear typically first appears; however, there are no photos, so the information is not much more than one might find in a Red Book.

Finally, there is no mention of Territorial (private) gold, and since I recently came across an Augustus Humboldt eagle, it would have been nice to know what to look for (especially since a private mint well might suffer from the kinds of deficiencies which can lead to weak strikes vis-a-vis worn features).

Bottom line here is that one needs to know how, himself, to grade coins, and this book definitely is a step in the right direction, especially for novice collectors and coin "investors" who become the principal marks for overgraded offerings.

Those people NEED to buy this book!

If, however, you are more specialized and are looking for detailed information beyond application of ANA standards to regular issues, then you probably need to look elsewhere.
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on March 24, 2014
The "hidden" spiral binding does not allow pages to lay flat and cause the perforations to tear unless you are extremely careful in turning the pages.
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on August 29, 2013
The internal ring binding concept was in this case poorly executed by the publisher (7th edition, 2013). I have examined two different copies. The diameter of the rings is too small. This causes the inside edges of opposing pages to rub up against each other, often making page turning difficult. The printer's perforation process causes most pages to be stuck together with adjoining pages, so when the book is newly received, the purchaser should laboriously go through the book page-by-page and separate each page from the others, so that future reference use of the book will not cause the rings to rip out the perforation holes in the pages. Failure to do so can even cause one of the hard covers to become detached from the ring binding. The book is also susceptible to damage from poor care in shipping or handling. Whitman has successfully bound other titles with a similar internal ring binding, but in this case they failed. This book needs larger rings and a different perforation technique.
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on May 13, 2016
I ordered this book and also Grading Coins By Photographs at the same time.
They are both published by Whitman and many coin photographs are shared
in both books.
Unfortunately, like other reviewers, I find the binding on this book unacceptable.
It has a very stiff over--size wire binding and 3 of the tabs on the 1st page were
broken on a brand-new book. I also spent 30 minutes going through the entire
book separating the individual pages that were stuck together.
In contrast, the other grading book has similar photographs, but no problems
with the correct-sized binding.
Do yourself a favor and don't waste your time with the ANA Grading Guide,
get the superior Grading Coins By Photographs and you will
be happy.
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on October 21, 2013
I especially like the spiral binding that lays flat. Reference stays opened when using as reference on desk or stand.
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on May 21, 2016
Best reference guide for numismatists interested in identifying and grading United States coins.
ANA Grading standards and techniques clearly discussed. Color photos, clear descriptions with accompanying comments make this book
an invaluable asset to coin enthusiasts, collectors and sellers.
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on February 20, 2015
A great book for grading coins. This book would have gotten 5 stars, but because the pages stick together, I couldn't give it. Some people have given this book poor ratings because of this, but if you slowly pull each page apart slowly by itself, very little damage occurs.
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on January 14, 2014
Bought my Dad a tablet for Christmas and downloaded the Kindle app. He likes to collect coins. While visiting his home last summer, I looked around to see what coin books he had laying around to determine which ones he might like on his new tablet. He had an older copy of this book (as well as the Red Book Guide to US Coins) and I was able to find a newer version of each to download onto the tablet. He is still in the learning curve to use a tablet, and how to get around reviewing a book on Kindle. As far as the book content, since he had the paper copy to start with (sitting out next to his chair), this would be a book that he references regularly. When he opened his Christmas present and I showed him the Kindle app and what books were there for him, he was VERY happy with what he saw.

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on January 11, 2014
A Great Reference Book for New coin collectors. A lot of info: available, and is very interesting to read. ****
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